Situated at the heart of one of Montreal’s more vibrant districts, the adaptive reuse project for a Scandinavian spa, fitness centre, and restaurant conceives the reintegration of the dormant Dominican church structure into the daily ritual of the neighbourhood. Eschewing the notion of the contemporary spa as a destination for seclusion or contemplation, it offers up instead the idea of the hydrotherapy spa as a space for the community. By interweaving spaces and juxtaposing functions common to the various programmatic elements, the project promotes social interaction over the creation of personal bubbles. Spaces intersect and slip into each other. Walls are dissolved through the use of glass partitions, connecting views to the adjacent program elements. The configuration ultimately facilities serendipitous encounters and catalyses human relations.
The project garnered a 2013 Québec Grand Prix du Design (hotel and recreational facility category) and a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in 2012 and received some nice coverage in the press with articles in the Wall Street Journal, Le Devoir, Journal Métro, La Presse, and Plaisirs de vivre, among others.
Photography: T B A